Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The BU men tip off their season in an exhibition this Saturday at 2:00.
And it will be a season of change.
From the player roster to the head coach, just about everything is different.
And that includes the system the team will implement, as the Bearcats move to a more up-tempo style of offense. A style that will take some getting used to.
"To say a couple weeks from now that we're going to be clicking on all cylinders would probably not be fair. But I do think that over the course of the season we will improve. I've seen some dramatic improvement over the summer and over the fall and if that improvement can continue I hope that by the conference season rolls around we'll put ourselves in a position to be very competitive," says head coach Tommy Dempsey.
"It definitely is a change. Like we said before, we want to be a running team. We wanted to steer in that direction but we haven't really focused on that as much. I think the coaching staff is doing a great job of getting us ready for that," says senior Jimmy Gray.
The season opens for real next Friday night when the men travel to face Loyola.
The women's team also hopes to play an up-tempo style of offense, but they hope to have found a secret weapon in the half court.
Junior guard Jazz Swain was league rookie of the year as a freshman, but saw her numbers drop last season.
Now she hopes added range will keep defenders honest.
"That's actually one of the things I keep in the back of my mind that pushes me to get into the gym those extra hours to put up some shots. And to show my teammates. First I have to prove to my teammates I can take these outside shots and I can knock them down," says Swain.
"Obviously it begins in practice, but she has some players that have the ability to challenge her as well. And that's going to help her tremendously as well. With the system we are putting in place it will provide more opportunities for everyone, in particular for her," says head coach Nicole Scholl.
The women play an exhibition game next week before opening the year for real on the road at St. Bonaventure next Saturday.